Meet the Official Pianists for the 2010 Competition:
Rohan De Silva
Rohan De Silva's partnerships with violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Benny Kim, Kyoko Takezawa, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Julian Rachlin have led to highly acclaimed performances at recital venues all over the world. With these and other artists he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Philadelphia Academy of Music, Ambassador Theater in Los Angeles, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and La Scala in Milan and Tel-Aviv, Israel. His festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Manchester, Ravinia and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Wellington Arts Festival in New Zealand. He performs frequently with Itzhak Perlman and was seen with Mr. Perlman on PBS' Live from Lincoln Center broadcast in early January 2000. Recently, Mr. De Silva toured Japan with Mr. Perlman, and in August 2002, they toured the Far East, including performances in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Last spring, he toured with Mr. Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, including stops in Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington DC. In the 2006-07 season, Mr. De Silva appears in recital with Mr. Perlman across the United States. As of July 2000, Rohan De Silva has been a faculty member at the Perlman Music Program on Long Island.
Mr. De Silva, a native of Sri Lanka, began his piano studies with his mother, the late Primrose De Silva and with the late Mary Billimoria. He spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of Hamish Milne, Sydney Griller, and Wilfred Parry. While in London, he received many awards including the Grover Bennett Scholarship, the Christian Carpenter Prize, the Martin Music Scholarship, the Harold Craxton Award for advanced study in England, and, upon his graduation, the Chappell Gold Medal for best overall performance at the Royal Academy. Mr. De Silva was the first recipient of a special Scholarship in the arts from the Presidents Fund of Sri Lanka. This enabled him to enter The Juilliard School, where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, studying piano with Martin Canin, chamber music with Felix Galimir, and working closely with violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. He was awarded a special prize as Best Accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He recently received the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award presented to him by Itzhak Perlman at the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. De Silva joined the collaborative arts and chamber music faculty of The Juilliard School in 1991, and in 1992 was awarded honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. In 2001, he joined the faculty at the Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan, where he gives masterclasses in collaborative piano. Radio and television credits include The Tonight Show with Midori, CNN's "Showbiz Today", NHK Television in Japan, National Public Radio, WQXR and WNYC in New York, and Berlin Radio. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, CBS/SONY Classical, Collins Classics in London, and RCA Victor.
Acclaimed for his extraordinary artistry, maturity and intelligence, (New York Times) Akira Eguchi has captivated audiences and critics throughout the world as a piano soloist, chamber musician, harpsichord player and collaborative pianist.
Since making his highly acclaimed New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1992, Mr. Eguchi has performed in the foremost music centers of the United States, Europe, and the Far East. Praised as a "pianist of fluency and rectitude" by The New York Times, his appearances in the United States include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and Musikverein in Vienna, Barbican Centre in London, Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris. Distinguished for his performances for heads of State, Mr. Eguchi has played for President Clinton presented by Isaac Stern at the White House and for the Emperor and Empress of Japan at Hamarikyu Ashahi Hall in Tokyo. Mr. Eguchi has been featured in numerous tours of the United States, France, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Slovenia, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, encompassing numerous recitals and concerts with many of those countries' foremost ensembles.
In great demand as a chamber musician, Mr. Eguchi has performed at the Aspen, Ravinia, and Newport festivals in the United States, Nagano-Aspen and Pacific in Japan, the Japan Festival in London, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, La Folle Journee in France. His radio and television credits include performances on WQXR and WNCN in New York, NPR, NHK of Japan, KBS of Korea, Radio France, BBC, PBS, and NBC, amongst others. Recordings are available from Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, Denon, Marquis Classics, Victor, IDC, BMG, Kosei publishing, Canary/Vanguard, and NYS Classics.
His 1st solo CD, Dear America, was selected as one of the best recordings of the month (Recording Arts September, 2002), and acclaimed as if Gershwin's spirit made him play. Another CD, Legends of The Maestros, released June 2003, was also chosen as one of the best recordings of the month (Recording Arts September, 2003). This CD was recorded at the Carnegie Hall, with the Steinway piano made in 1887, which was originally placed on the stage of the Carnegie Hall of its early era. His newest solo album will be released in summer of 2006, which includes works by Rachmaninoff, Prokofieff, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition arranged by Horowitz. His newest CD, Pictures at an Exhibition was just released July 2006, including works by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Horowitz version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
Mr. Eguchi is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious William Petchek Award and the William Schuman Prize from The Juilliard School for outstanding achievement and leadership in music, first prize at both the Gina Bachauer International Scholarship Competition and the Brahms Piano Concerto Competition at Juilliard, awards at the International Chamber Music Competition in Paris, and the Aleida Schweitzer Award for the outstanding accompanist at the International Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poland. Also active as a composer, Mr. Eguchi's works include cadenzas for the Mozart Violin Concertos K.216, K.219, commissioned by Kyoko Takezawa and Julian Rachlin, and for the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major, which was commissioned by Ko Iwasaki. In 2003, Gershwin Piano Selections, arranged by Eguchi was published from Zen-On.
Born in Tokyo, Mr. Eguchi received a degree in Music Composition from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he subsequently served as a faculty member. Mr. Eguchi received his Master's Degree in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School. He has studied with Herbert Stessin, Samuel Sanders, Hitoshi Toyama, Shin Sato, Akira Kitamura, Ichiro Mononobe, and Akiko Kanazawa.
Currently living in New York City and on the faculty of CUNY Brooklyn College. He also has been appointed as a guest professor of Senzoku-Gakuen Music College in Tokyo.
Official Website, www.akiraeguchi.com
Born in North Carolina, Nelson Padgett began piano studies at age six and gave his first solo recital at age nine. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Peabody Conservatory of Music, and the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts. His teachers have included Ruth Walters, Clifton Matthews, Anne Epperson, Ellen Mack, Leon Fleisher, Lee Luvisi, Gyorgy Sebok, and Menahem Pressler. Awards as a soloist include a Silver Medal at the William Kappell International Competition and a Beethoven Fellowship from the American Pianists Association.
Mr. Padgett has collaborated with Elmar Oliveira, Pinchas Zuckerman, Pamela Frank, Alexander Simionescu, Ilya Kaler, Vadim Repin, Nai-Yuan Hu, Nicholas Eanet, Aaron Berofsky, and from 2000-2007, he has been an official pianist at the famed Meadowmount School of Music in upstate New York. He has performed in major venues around the world with the Philip Glass Ensemble, Steve Reich and Musicians, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes. He records regularly for film and television, and can be heard on the Harmonia Mundi, EMI Classics, and Orange Mountain labels. Highlights of 2010 included a European tour with the Philip Glass Ensemble and a performance of all three Brahms Violin Sonatas in Weill Recital Hall.
Mr. Padgett is on the faculty of The Ridgewood (NJ) Conservatory, and teaches privately in New York City. He performs nearly every Friday and Saturday throughout the year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of Orion Music's Balcony Series.